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BOOK REVIEW: The Story of Us by Hanna Ali

The collection of fictional short stories is about womanhood, from a Somali perspective. My favorite chapter is “Kind of Love.” I simply love the vulnerability shared as readers explore a journey of self-love, hurt and finding love. The lyrical writing of this title is so meaningful and heartwarming— I felt seen by this collection of voices and their experiences and genius craftsmanship. “The space between Europe and Africa is a graveyard disguised as a sea. An entire population of uncles and nieces, grandparents and toddlers, lying but not laid to rest. ”

This title is a great collection of Afro-Arab and migrant experiences beginning in the homeland and each story follows a different woman's life experience— self-love, from being trapped in a loveless marriage, to a young girl reflecting on difficult a breakup. This work of fiction unpacks the journey of healing, how many navigate difficult emotions and situations, and what becomes of a generation of Somali women refugees who grow up in the West. Now, this beautifully written title also includes intimate stories by women to whom have lived through war and traumas and, also, depicts the aftermath of being at war with yourself. I loved this title! Now, Hanna Ali is a member of Exiled Writers and her work has been published in publications including Scarf Magazine, Brittle Paper and Cecile’s Writers’ Magazine— so, if you enjoy this title, there is more by this author.

I give this book a 4 out of 5.


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